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Diego Simeone accepts responsibility for Champions League exit

Diego Simeone accepts responsibility for Champions League exit

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has accepted the blame for his side’s exit to Juventus in the Champions League last-16 on Tuesday night.

Two weeks ago, Diego Simeone’s side produced a sublime performance to overcome Massimiliano Allegri’s side 2-0 thanks to goals from Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin.

But, despite their first leg advantage, Los Rojiblancos failed to produce a similar showing as they saw a formidable foe in Ronaldo produce a world class performance.

Juventus largely dominated the game in terms of possession and they were excellent from the off as Ronaldo struck just before the half hour mark with an excellent header past Jan Oblak.

Former Valencia defender Joao Cancelo then turned providor for Ronaldo as the former Real Madrid man headed in again to make it 2-0 just after the half time break.

With the score level, Atleti did improve but Angel Correa’s mistimed challenge with five minutes remaining on the clock saw Ronaldo step up and hammer the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

With the defeat Atleti become only the fourth ever in Champions League history to exit after winning the first leg 2-0, whilst Juventus last progressed having lost the first leg of a tie to Werder Bremen back in 2006.

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“It was not about commitment, about work or effort,” the Argentine told reporters. “Juventus were better and deserved to win the game. They pushed us back. You must congratulate a rival when they play a game like that and you are beaten like today.

“We made many mistakes, for sure – but I mean me, not the players. They were better tactically and on second balls. That is why they won the game.

“I don’t think it was our worst performance, nor did I see a lack of character. They simply played better and we have to congratulate them. We had played quite well towards half-time and created a big chance, but were unable to do enough in the second half. We couldn’t contrast them.

“I think Juve’s greatest strength is their pressing capability. Even when we did escape their pressing, we weren’t good enough on the second balls.

“Juventus played in a similar way to what we did in the first leg. We struggled and they deservedly go through to the quarter-finals.”

Simeone will not turn his attentions to La Liga where Atleti continue to chase Barcelona, although the Argentine will be slightly concerned that his side failed to register a shot on target.